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College Of Health & Human Sciences

CSD Strategic Plan

WCU CSD 2009-2019 Strategic Plan

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Carolina University has participated in strategic planning since 2008. Efforts have resulted in the identification of four areas for program growth. During the 2008 year, these areas were generated and assigned to faculty study groups that wrote 1, 3, 5, and 10 year goals and strategies.

What follows is a presentation of strategic areas for growth over the next decade. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has disseminated this plan to the Deans of the College of Health and Human Sciences and the WCU Graduate School. It has also been disseminated to the Department’s Program Advisory Committee and is available to interested parties through the Departmental website.

Progress with and revisions specific to the plan will be reviewed by the faculty each academic semester. Progress and revisions will be posted on the Departmental website annually. Any program constituent wishing to comment on or contribute to this plan should email Dr. Bill Ogletree at

Area 1: Academic/Scholarship

Year 1

1. Receipt of external funding to support students and/or faculty research.
a. Continuation of existing Department of Education funding in support of student training in severe disabilities and autism.
b. Create mentoring relationship between junior faculty and Departmental endowed chairs to 
support proposal identification and generation. 
2. Increase student theses.
a. Make students aware of advantages associated with the thesis option.
b. Make Grad School information and resources related to theses more available.
c. Inform students of IRB policies as they enter the graduate program..
d. Utilize former students/guest speakers who have completed theses to discuss the process and advantages.
e. Promote early identification of solid students and mentor into thesis consideration.

Year 3

1. Increase expressive scholarship from faculty and students. (This is a commitment to scholarship in all areas.)
a. Provide rotating internal .25 load releases for projects approved by the faculty at large.
b. Encourage use of students on research efforts. Promote faculty-student mentoring relationships around research.
c. Increase knowledge of university support for research. Make junior faculty aware of all internal competitive awards supporting research.
d. Consider faculty/student research support group to increase research dialogue.
2. To receive additional external funding to support students and/or faculty research.
a. Increase faculty knowledge of Grad School support for the generation of funding proposals.
b. Provide internal .25 semester release for proposal generation if supported by faculty at large. (This will be reserved for larger proposals – over $50,000.)

Year 5

1. Establish WCU doctoral cohort through UNCG.
a. Encourage growth of program.
b. Dialogue with current students (advise, serve on planning committees; observe teaching practicum; facilitate presentations and engagement in research).
2. Create international opportunities.

a. with Turks/Caicos and Botswana.
b. Explore scholarship opportunities for international students.
3. Increase collaborative efforts across disciplines at WCU
a. Explore interdisciplinary activities within HHS and across main campus.

b. IPE events at least 2 a year

  1. c. Balance clinic with PT/Audiology
  2. d. PEERS with Special Education

Year 10

1. Establish international programs

  1. a. Jamaica model
  2. 2. Explore offering of additional electives
  3. 3. Promote scholarship

Area 2: Clinical

Year 1

1. Continue clinic family night activities intended to focus on the needs of families with preschool and school-aged children served in the WCU Speech and Hearing Center. 
a. Determine interest in/need for clinic family night events for fall and spring. 
b. Determine other possible venues for family education. Consider collaborative opportunities with other agencies serving families.
2. Continue adult fluency support group.
a. Determine interest in/need for fluency support activities in the fall and spring semesters.
b. Explore broadening experiences to include more faculty and students. 
3. Build new clinical connections within the Western North Carolina region. These could build off-campus site options for students and to create collaborative relationships with the program at large.
a. Explore collaborative possibilities with sites not currently participating in the WCU CSD program including schools, private practices, hospitals, long-term care facilities. 

Year 3

1. Build services and financial clinic support by increasing referral base through efforts described under #3 above. 
a. Prioritize clinical faculty positions in College of Health and Human Sciences staffing plans to accommodate growth.
b. Utilize fees for services to support clinical positions (faculty and staff).
c. Consider external funding to support special clinical training activities.
2. Increase clinical collaboration with other departments and colleges on campus. 
a. Initiate communication and planning with departments within the College of Health and Human Sciences regarding joint clinical ventures.
b. Initiate communication and planning with departments in other colleges that provide clinical services , e.g., Psychology.
c. Begin to consider procedures for inter- and transdisciplinary clinical ventures. 
3. Increase diversity of clinical services to provide additional clinical and research experiences for students and faculty as well as meet the needs of at risk populations. 
a. Examine and possibly adopt procedures used by other WCU departments and clinics for creating diverse experiences.
b. Examine and possibly adopt procedures used by other universities and programs engaging in diverse experiences.
c. Identify funding related to increasing diverse clinical experiences.

Year 5

1. Create international practicum experiences for summer sessions.
a. Examine procedures used by other departments and colleges to establish international study and clinical experiences. Identify lead faculty participants.
b. Establish international colleague liaisons and possibly target exchange experiences.
c. Research and explore funding possibilities by year 4.
d. Create first exchange experience by year 5. 
2. Expand services for Hispanic population. 
a. Examine procedures used by other departments and colleges currently engaging in services to the local Hispanic population. 
b. Offer opportunities for faculty and students to expand Spanish proficiency.
c. Build multilingual student population through broad-based advertisement and recruitment.
3. Generate specialty clinical programs consistent with faculty interest and community need.
a. Identify faculty interests and community needs.
b. Consider space and scheduling needs for programs.
c. Consider external funding for programs. 
d. Determine collaborative interest among faculty and potential collaborative partners

e. Parent training

Year 10

1. Establish and be known for steeples of excellence related to clinical offerings. 
a. Achievement of the aforementioned goals.
b. Receipt of additional grant/contract funding to support areas of excellence.

2. Establish clinical presence in Asheville area.

a. explore needs in area

b. explore faculty interest

3. Hire additional full-time clinical supervisor

4.  Better preparation of students for assessment through course development

5.  Explore course development on supervision (online

Area 3: Outreach

Year 1

1. Consistently produce a newsletter for alumni, students, and constituents. Include opportunities for alumni giving to support specific departmental projects.
a. Identify faculty and students with interest in producing the newsletter. 
b. Identify production timelines.
c. Produce and distribute at least one issue annually.
2. Create a WCU CSD Facebook site for student and alumni use. 
a. Identify faculty and students with interest in establishing and maintaining the site.
b. Notify students and alumni of the site once it is ready. 
3. Market program to alumni, students, constituents through website.
a. Review current site for updates regarding faculty interests and clinical services.
b. Review current site for updates specific to student recruitment. Work with other departments to determine effective recruitment aspects of sites. 
4. Increase undergraduate admissions.
a. Work with WCU advising to promote earlier identification of CSD as a potential major at WCU.
b. Offer general courses open to all students on hot topics (e.g., autism) to attract undergraduate interest.
c. Promote job options/flexibility on website and in early undergraduate classes.
d. Partner graduate students with interested undergraduates as mentors. 
e. Have CSD major featured in College of Health and Human Sciences published materials for undergraduates to promote awareness of the major.
f. Participate in freshman move in days and recruitment fairs on campus.
g. Promote undergraduate NSSLHA involvement.
5. Increase applications for graduate school in CSD.
a. Refresh website according to aforementioned strategies.
b. Increase contacts with “undergraduate only” programs.
c. Recruit at national, regional, and state conferences.

Year 3

1. Have achieved a 20% increase in undergraduate admissions.
a. See aforementioned strategies.
2. Have achieved a 20% increased in graduate applications.
a. See aforementioned strategies.
3. Increased outreach efforts to Hispanic community. 
a. Meet with local Hispanic council and service provider groups.
b. Recruit bilingual students/faculty.
c. Promote Spanish as an elective for undergraduate students.

Year 5

1. Market the program for its steeples of excellence. These might include emphases upon unique clinical/academic offerings, grant funding, international opportunities.
a. Identify steeples and associated faculty.
b. Include information about steeples in newsletters, on the website, and in other recruitment materials.
2. Increase quality and diversity of student base.
a. Utilize internal university mechanisms to identify potential students from diverse groups.
b. Continue graduate recruitment efforts with traditionally African American institutions with undergraduate CSD programs. 
c. Obtain increased student support both internally and externally for stipends and graduate assistantships.

Year 10

1. Extend outreach efforts to Asheville through satellite efforts.
a. See Academic/Scholarship Area.

b. Review student selection criteria for graduate program with an eye towards increasing diversity

Area 4:  Connections to HHS Strategic Plan

Year 5

1. Identify goals to align

a. CHHS initiative 1.3.1:  Assess teh resources necessary to supporth the growth and development of clinical partnerships and opportunities for faculty practice.

b. CHHS initiative 2.3.4: Maintain and expand opportunities for student engagement in international educational experiences.

c. CHHS initiative 3.2.5: Develop innovative ways to collaborate with and support our clinical partneres across all disciplines.

d. CHHS initiative 4.1.2: Identify and support individual and group training opportunities.

e. CHHS initiative 5.2.2: Provide workout space/classes for faculty and staff.

f. CHHS initiative 6.2.2: Identify prospective donors to increase the current pool.


Year 10

1. Participate in ongoing review of the CHHS Strategic plan. 
a. Conduct annual reviews of alignment with CHHS strategic plan.
b. Develop new CSD Strategic Plan.

Resources Needed for Plan

1. Financial support both external and internal.
2. New faculty lines associated with growth to campus in the Asheville area.
3. Online recourses for faculty related to acquiring Spanish (tutorial).
4. Space for new clinical and academic activities (offices, lab space, instructional space).
5. Time for grant writing, creative instructional and clinical activities.

Plan for Obtaining Resources

The Department Chair and Clinic Director will meet annually to discuss the current and long-range needs to provide resources. The Department Chair will present those needs to the Dean.

Strategic Plan Updated 9/1/2017

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